This week I'm in Europe visiting some of my colleagues here. Skype is a wonderful tool - however, there's no substitute for looking directly into someone's eyes, spending quality time with your team and understanding how they work in their environment. It's been a wonderful week so far and we've had a tremendous visit - great food and fellowship have been shared by all. I'm also taking the opportunity while I'm here to meet people who aren't on the Track-It! team. I'll be flying back Saturday morning and will be glad to be home with my family, but I will definitely miss everyone here - we've bonded quite a bit this week. This trip has been a huge success for that reason alone.
I've been talking to the team a lot this week about Track-It! and some of the basic tenets of a Help Desk. How does a Technician do their daily work? How can Track-It! help them organize their work and optimize their Help Desk performance? I brought this blog series on getting organized up to the team and discussed the basic premise of the series with them - that some customers of ours are buying help desk software for the first time and don't understand some of the ways that Track-It! can help them get organized and exceed customer expectations. This morning, I discussed my idea for this week's post - the top 3 myths about organizing your Help Desk - with the team. It was an interesting conversation and I centered it on coming up with a few key words that describe the essence of each myth.
Organizing your Help Desk is easy - there are some companies out there that say that it's easy to setup and run your Help Desk. Well, it's not. There's a huge difference between your software being easy-to-use and your Help Desk being easy to setup and organize. Even following a very specific set of best practices and using Track-It! to manage your Help Desk is not nearly enough to debunk this myth. It may be very easy to get started in a lot of cases, but best practices are designed to provide initial direction. Problems seem to rear their ugly head when that initial direction is not pointed where you want to go. And in that case, the further you move in that direction without any sort of course correction means that you will be that much further away from where you want to be. I believe in being done before being perfect - however, there are some decisions that directly influence the way that you are able to measure your performance and status that must be made. A lot of these decisions have to do with initial setup and reference data such as your Types, Sub-types, Categories, Priorities and other fields used as metadata in your Work Order. Setting these up correctly is very important - you can't report on data that you don't measure.
Your Help Desk requires little maintenance - this is a myth of omission. It is true that on a week to week basis, you may not need to do much maintenance on your Help Desk or your IT software, but you must always be ready to review your setup and find ways to optimize and improve your processes. This is something that is sometimes easy to overlook for a lot of organizations - however, it might be the most important thing that you can do for your team and your company. As the size and complexity of your organization changes, you must be ready to adapt. Similarly, as the skill-level and awareness of your users change, you must also change your approach accordingly. Failing to do so would mean that you are providing them with services and solutions that are not at all geared to their needs - and your satisfaction scores will certainly reflect that over the course of time. Reviewing your data and processes on a regular basis will ensure that you are taking into account the changes that are surely coming around the corner and will allow you to protect yourself against failing to recognize just how significant some of them may be to your Help Desk.
There is one True Way to organize your Help Desk - no matter what anyone says, I do not believe that a single process can possibly work in every situation. People and groups are too different in too many different ways to gain the same benefits from a single process. Sometimes a company finds this out after implementing a new piece of software or process and finding that it doesn't provide them with the visibility into their organization or the ability to adapt to a changing environment that they need. And sometimes they don't realize this until some time has passed. Without flexibility in your Help Desk to change how Work Orders are processed, tracked and otherwise managed, you will be stuck in a very bad situation. It is critical to spend time identifying what your most important needs are very early when establishing how your Help Desk will be organized. Choosing a solution or process that is weak and rigid in the area that is the most important to your organization increases the risk of failure immeasurably. Making this mistake can doom a project before it ever starts by not giving you any way of correcting the small mistakes that you are bound to make early on in your implementation.
The ease of use and flexibility of Track-It! is a great guard against these scary myths. And our Track-It! user community is a tremendous resource for your questions regarding how to organize your Help Desk to suit your needs. Recently I've seen some detailed discussions around this very topic - we're really happy that our customers are starting to get involved in the new BMC Track-It! community. And I hope you've noticed that we've been jumping into those discussions, too. After all, we love talking about help desk and asset management software just as much as our customers do - and we really love being able to help you utilize Track-It! to grow into a mature and sophisticated IT organization.
Well, another couple of days and I'll be hopping on a plane for about 20 hours of travel to get back home. I've been Skyping with my wife and daughter but it's nothing compared to being with them in-person. Of course, that's why I'm here in the first place - to show our team in-person just how much they mean to us. And it's been well-worth the trip.
But I sure am looking forward to some big hugs when I get home...